Korean-Style Gochujang Meatballs

Gochujang is one of the “hot ingredients” that is trending in 2018, according to the Food Network Magazine. It is a Korean paste, made from chile peppers, sticky rice and fermented soy beans – a spicy paste sharing the glory with the likes of Sriracha.

Gochujang is one of three pastes that help boost the flavor in Korean dishes. It’s a hot, red pepper paste with varying levels of heat and a touch of sweetness. It’s very intense and complements beef marinades and  bibimbap. Be sure to check the ingredients so there is not too much sugar.

There is also Doenjang, a chunky paste which packs a punch of salty funk with a touch of nuttiness. It adds a salty, umami undercurrent to dishes. You will find this in Korean soups and savory pancakes.

The third “jang” is Ssamjang which is a blend of the other two “jangs” mixed with garlic, scallions, something sweet and sesame seeds. If you like Korean barbecue you’ve probably tasted this. Great on rice, meat and eggs!


I ran across this recipe not too long ago and I knew this appetizer would be a great way to use this Korean paste. I know – not another meatball recipe but I love them and they can be the perfect finger food for your next family/friends gathering. Besides there is a sweet/hot glaze brushed over them before serving making them even more appealing.

This is a Food52 recipe contributed by foxeslovelemons who is a food writer from Detroit.

Korean-Style Gochujang Meatballs, Adapted

  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp. gochujang
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil, for pan-frying

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine all the ingredients (except for the oil) in a bowl, just to combine and evenly distribute the ingredients. Make them the size of golf-balls or smaller.

Heat the oil, and in batches, brown the meatballs on all sides.  Drain, then transfer the meatballs to a rimmed baking pan and transfer to oven. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the temperature of the meatballs reaches 160°F.

If you prefer to bake them like I do; bake for 15 minutes at 350°F, then turn and bake another 15  minutes. Check the temperature and bake longer if needed.


  • 1/3 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tbsp. gochujang
  • 1-1/2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • sliced green onions and sesame seeds toasted to garnish

Combine the first four ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook for a few minutes or until mixture is thickened.

Brush on the glaze while the meatballs are still warm, garnish with green onion slices and toasted sesame seeds.  Allow to rest a few minutes before sticking the picks in each meatball.


Sunny Anderson from the Food Network suggests thinning it with water and brushing it on fish before baking; add a tbsp. or two to a chicken marinade or mix into barbecue or wing sauces; use in place of Dijon mustard in vinaigrettes and pan sauces. Sounds like some good suggestions to me…

I’ve heard her https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sunny-anderson/sunnys-sunset-park-noodle-bowl-3691478 is delicious.

I did fry half the meatballs but I think they lose their shape and tend to fall apart – that’s why I do prefer to bake them. Healthier and less messy too!

Linking to Fiesta Friday #220 and the two co-hosts Jhuls @ http://thenotsocreativecook.com/2018/04/20/sun-dried-tomato-hummus/ and Mollie @ https://frugalhausfrau.com/

23 thoughts on “Korean-Style Gochujang Meatballs

  1. Aunt Juju, do you know that I love gochujang and Korean meatballs?? These are so perfect appetizers for this week’s Fiesta Friday party. Thanks for sharing!

    PS: I haven’t tried the other two pastes – I need to find them, too. 😁


  2. Thanks for the detailed explanation about each type. I haven’t yet experimented with all these “jangs”, and your post definitely makes me want to do that very soon! The meatballs look so delicious. 🙂


  3. I remember when I lived in Korea, I came across this paste and became obsessed. Mainly because I have been trying to recreate the perfect dukbokki (spicy rice cake) recipe. However, these meatballs look just as great!


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